News & Reviews


Activist musicians sign on for Salmonfest

The 2019 Salmonfest extravaganza is bringing two dynamic musical acts back together. This year, an international star, and multiple Grammy winner, Jason Mraz will be joined by his friend and collaborator Joel Rafael when Salmonfest gets underway on Aug. 2 in Ninilchik.

Currently, Rafael is releasing his next album, Rose Avenue, with two songs featuring Mraz. Their song, "Strong" was originally composed for a performance at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota, as part of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.

Rafael and Mraz wrote "Strong" via email. When it came time to assemble Rose Avenue, he felt like "Strong" still had importance even after the protest

"We wrote it for the Water Protectors at Standing Rock, people who risked all they risked to make an issue visible to other people who weren't aware of it," said Rafael, who co-wrote another Rose Avenue track, "Under Our Skin," with Mraz. "I put it on the record because clean water is an issue now. We all need clean water."

The message in "Strong," is symbiotic with our efforts to protect our epic and timeless salmon waters. Salmonfest celebrates what probably is the most transcendent element connecting people: the timeless wonder of the five salmon species which, Salmonfest hopes, remain such a major part of our state's heritage and identity.

Every year, while the majority of attendees come for the music, fun and friends, the underlying rallying cry is for salmon and the waters and wilds that sustain the precious species.

Since its inception, the festival has donated more than $100,000 to Alaska's premier salmon and environmental conservation organizations. The event's long-standing sponsors and beneficiaries include Kachemak Bay Conservation Society, Cook Inletkeeper, two long-standing Homer-based nonprofit organizations that seek to educate the public, and both protect and promote Alaska's fish-filled waters.

Major beneficiaries of festival proceeds include Alaskans Know Climate Change, Musicians United to Protect Bristol Bay, United Tribes of Bristol Bay, and Stand for Salmon.

Mraz is scheduled to play Saturday night, Aug. 3.

"Everyone is looking forward to watching Jason and Joel perform their song at Salmonfest," said Salmonfest producer Jim Stearns.

Salmonfest takes place Aug. 2-4 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik. Tickets are available at Article credit to the Homer Tribune

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